Office machine repairers complete a variety of tasks on the job. These vary from installing and fixing electronic and manually-operated office machines to maintaining fax machines, copy machines and other types of equipment. Being analytical and hands-on are definite parts of the field. That's why office machine repairers should be comfortable using a wide range of tools, including the multimeter, which provides information about current, voltage and resistance, as well as circuit boards, cable accessories, and signal generators.
Individuals interested in the field also should have patience, persistence, and the ability to troubleshoot. Skills for the field can typically be gained by taking classes at a community college, vocational school or even by learning on the job. In some related fields, completion of a certificate program could be beneficial.
Responsibilities of Office Machine Repairers
The job expectations for the office machine repairer can vary, depending on whether they work for themselves or someone else and the type of machinery they are knowledgeable about. In general, their responsibilities include:
- Traveling to a customer's workplace to service office machines
- Talking with customers to figure out the scope of an equipment issue or problem
- Troubleshooting and fixing mechanical or electronic issues
- Ordering needed parts for repair
- Installing, integrating or updating these parts to bring a piece of equipment back to functionality
- Reassembling equipment after taking it apart
- Keeping up with new technologies that affect the types of equipment they repair
Office Machine Repairer Job Characteristics
Office machine repairers typically work at a customer's place of business or may bring things back to their repair shop for further work. Here's what to expect on the job:
- Office machine repairers may need to work weekends or evening hours to accommodate the needs of customers.
- Some of the equipment that they work on may be located outdoors.
- The job may entail lifting heavy equipment or working in awkward positions.
- When office machine repairers work indoors, it is typically in well-ventilated areas since some machinery needs to be in a climate-controlled environment.
Skills that make for a good office machine repairer include:
- Attention to detail
- Good communication
- Trouble-shooting abilities
- Analytical reasoning
Office Machine Repairer Salary and Career Information
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the following information about office machine, computer, and automated teller repairers nationwide:
- Total Employment: 110,940 in 2014
- Job Growth: 4%, from 2012 to 2022
- Average Salary: $38,450 in 2014
Job opportunities could be best for those with training in electronics, according to the BLS. That said, individuals working in Washington, D.C., Alaska, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island had the highest mean annual wages, all above $44,000. Those who want to advance in their career may be able to train other entry-level workers or take on supervisory or management roles.
Education, Certification and Licensing
College courses can help students to enter the field of office machine repair, but a college degree is usually unnecessary. Training also can occur on the job, particularly as new methods or technologies become available. Individuals enrolled in college courses can learn learn about:
- Computer/digital technology
- Trouble-shooting repairs
- Mechanical configurations and circuit boards
Certification can be found through an organization like ETA International, which offers a variety of credentialing, including in basic electronics, such as Associate Electronics Technician (CETa) and Apprentice (APP). Certification also can be found through equipment vendors and through organizations like the International Society of Certified Electronic Technicians, CompTia and even Hewlett-Packard.
Licensing is not required in the field, but many professionals become highly qualified simply by working in office machine repair for a lengthy amount of time and gaining experience with a variety of machines and new technologies.
Major Employers of Office Machine Repairers
- Electronics and appliance stores
- Office supply stores
- Electronic and precision equipment repair shops
- Wholesalers of professional and commercial equipment and supplies
Resources for Office Machine Repairers
- Electronics Technicians Association International
- International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians
- Association of Computer Repair Business Owners
- Computer, ATM, and Office Machine Repairers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/computer-atm-and-office-machine-repairers.htm#tab-6
- Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes492011.htm
- Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers, O*NET OnLine, 2015. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/49-2011.00
- ISCET Certification Exams, International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, http://www.iscet.org/certification/exams.html